I went over to Val’s shop again today, must’ve been the fourth or fifth time. I left around 9:40 AM. I just recently got back and it is now 5:10 PM. I jumped at the opportunity to accompany her on a trip down to the bike collective at Des Moines to see what it is all about and I got way more than I had bargained for.
We did some bike stuff at the collective, I learned how to take apart a bike from start to finish. That part was definitely a fun learning experience and worth it alone. The main event was all the time we spent after. She took me on a long tour of Des Moines. Theme: Bikes and Services/Charities for the poor and homeless.
A latent realization I have had in my time here is the importance I place on carrying out my civic duty. I feel duty bound to help the community – make some sort of positive impact on the well being of those who had less fortunate starting conditions than I have. In the ride back from Des Moines I had some time to think about this. The current dilemma I face is envisioning a lifestyle in which I can effectively pursue intellectual exercise, support myself financially, and enrich the lives of others.
-July 7, 2018
Went to UBFM Des Moines with Val the other day. I don’t remember what exactly I wrote up there, but the feeling I attempted to describe still persists. Doing my part to give back helps me find fulfillment in life. Additionally there is a pleasantly hopeful feeling that I get when I witness a mass of people contributing their time and resources to a selfless cause. Good vibes and whatnot. A good place to be.
I hope to join Val next Thursday as well. It’ll require a fast mental switch from serious symposium setting to benevolent biking behavior. That isn’t a complaint, nor is it a statement suggesting difficulty.
-July 27, 2018
Rode with UBFM again last night. Went on the green route this time (last time purple route). Different route culture – Kyle and crew knew pretty well who to expect and where to look (certain houses, certain cars in parking lots). I finally took the initiative to approach someone that looked in want but too shy to approach. A kid on a bicycle. We sent him away with 3 PB&J’s. Felt good.
Another learning experience, comparatively less meaningful than the practicing of charity, is just how much ground I can cover biking without exerting too hard. Whenever I bike alone I tend towards a fast and effortful pace. Biking with a group forces me into a pace others (including non-cycling enthusiasts) may maintain. And yet at the end of the day we had covered 7.05 miles in 2.66 hours including stops. Now I know I can comfortably bike places in reasonable amounts of time.
edit: Saw a homeless man on his way to an interview. That inspired hope. I didn’t even think he might be telling an untruth until I later felt some skepticism from the regulars about this. Perhaps I am yet naïve.
-August 3, 2018